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2009-09-19 04:15 am (UTC)
My reader is organised alphabetically, which means when I get behind, I don't always find the stuff I want to read very quickly. Bugger.
Anyway, the concept of "good parenting" being based in protection is one that irritates me in the extreme. Since I is one, I find that the instinct to protect them (which is, I think, very selfishly driven, at least in my case) is very strong, and I have to fight against it. The fact that there is an attitude that glorifies the "All they need is love and protection" model of parenting adds to the fight, but realistically, I am fighting myself more than the outside world. I mean, obviously, there is a need to protect them in an age appropriate way. I shan't be letting the not-quite-2yr old cross the road on her own just yet. But not letting them find their boundaries, find out about the world? Gahhh, drives me coco bananas.
The potential thing is a tricky one. As is the "hard road" argument. I would be a little sad if someone close to me was trans, because it is damn hard to be trans in this world. I wouldn't love them less or wonder where I went wrong, and by realising that it would be so hard for them, I also realise that this needs to change. I don't want less trans people in the world, I want it to be easier. I want it to be a non-issue, at least culturally. You know, like you wear glasses to be able to see better, you do what's appropriate to feel right in your body. I'm a pragmatic idealist, I guess.
But there is a fuzzy mess between wearing glasses and wanting to "fix" everything outside a narrowly defined norm. I don't think anyone would argue that reading glasses are obnoxiously normative, but treating homosexuality as something to be fixed definitely is. How do we develop a way of identify what's just helping and what's redefining? Messy.
In terms of resilience, I skimmed your conversation on Twitter, and I was pretty astonished by what is presented as resilience in some places. The resilience stuff I've mostly been involved with has been based on supporting kids to embrace difference as what makes people cool and interesting. To make them feel confident enough in themselves to defend themselves as they are, and not to confirm to avoid being a target. There has been an inkling of that idea in some of it - carrying yourself with confidence rather than appearing timid which I have always had some issues with. It's all good and well for me as a text book extrovert to learn to carry myself that way, but I don't know if that's asking more introverted people to be someone they're not. I don't know. But in the end, the main point of the resilience stuff I have been involved with is that if you are bullied, it is because the bully has a problem, not because you do.
Potential is the thing I have the most problem with. Many disabilities do involve a reduction in a person's potential, and others in a complete reshuffle of them. I can't reconcile that we should not do what we can restore those potentials. I fully acknowledge that this doesn't have to be done by removing the "disability" itself, but by fixing why that difference reduces potential. But not all disability is socially created. The desire to have children may be highly socially reinforced, but it is also deeply personal. I just can't see how helping people meet that desire is a bad thing. Again, there are a bunch of socially created problems for people with Cystic Fibrosis, for example, but in the end, the disease is in and of itself a Bad Thing. Curing it is not socially normative, it's making people's lives clearly better.
I'm not suggesting that you are arguing that we shouldn't cure disease, I'm just wondering how you think we find the line in the sand? My personal line in the sand is as transient as the name suggests. Every time I hear another well thought out argument it shifts this way or that.
Sorry for the very long comment, I think this is a fascinating intersection of social justice, psychology, medicine, parenting, media and sociology.
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